Dismantling the boat was easier than loading. The cargo straps that took half an hour to put on took only a minute to come off. We got off the boat and ended up right on the Trans Canada Highway – this ferry route is considered to be an official part of it.
We proceeded into Port Aux Basques through mixed rain and fog. Not soon after we left the ferry, a cruiser broke out of line and bravely passed us in thick fog. We were going relatively slowly, tired from lack of proper sleep and curious to actually see and absorb this new landscape in front and around us. This is the furthest we’ve ever gone by surface transport. Sure, a transatlantic flight easily beats the distance travelled, but when you go this far by land (and a tiny bit of sea) it seems that every kilometre is an effort and a cause for celebration. So we rode casually, getting passed by pretty much every other vehicle on the road. We didn’t mind, as we were occasionally stopping on the side of the road to take photos.
The SV rider made me stop at the visitor’s centre and get a proper paper map. The feature we most looked forward to was the T’Railway and the map did include it. I had it mapped out on my phone as well, but it’s always nice to have an analog backup. So we went on towards our next destination – Rocky Harbour.
As we emerged from the fog, the Long Range Mountains were overwhelming to absorb. Every corner, creek and pond looked fantastic in the foreground of these giants. We had to pull to the side of the highway and I wasn’t too comfortable with that at first but the SV rider persisted and we even went back and took some more shots. Aside from the scenery, we saw quite a few memorial sites by the side of the road.
After a long ride we decided to have breakfast in Corner Brook. As we approached the town we saw a police car stopped on the side of the road and it appeared that an accident occurred and the same cruiser rider who overtook us earlier was standing beside his bike which seemed to have gone down on a slippery turn in the middle of construction. Not a good way to start the journey.
We came into Corner Brook and began searching for a decent breakfast place and after circling around their downtown area, we settled on a pizza shop and had some donair meat for the first time. From there on we continued by Hwy 1 until Dear Lake, then turned onto the Viking Trail – Hwy 430. This is where it started getting even more scenic, but we were exhausted so we pressed on and eventually got to our cabin. We came in a bit too early and it wasn’t ready yet. To pass the time we went to explore the town, get some groceries and find a place that may have oil for the TU. We found Pittman’s Towing Company, a small auto repair shop at the edge of Rocky Harbour. It looked promising but they didn’t have 10W40 in stock. They told us they would go get it tomorrow. We also found a trading post and a convenience store that both had some food, though it wasn’t very tempting. Fruits and vegetables looked like they were rotting and frozen at the same time, but it seems that’s a common occurrence in Newfoundland, where these things are not grown locally but shipped in by boat. We loaded up the groceries into a tankbag and went to our cabin where we unpacked and took a nice long nap to compensate for the sleepless ferry ride.